Will nerve conduction/ENG test determine if Acute or Chronic GBS?

    • Anonymous
      June 3, 2009 at 4:58 pm

      Will nerve conduction/ENG test determine if Acute or Chronic GBS?

      I came down with GBS early December 2007, it all came on very quickly over a 48 hour period.

      I’m now 18 months into my recovery and appear to be doing very well.

      I am based in the UK, but when I got GBS I was in Belgium. I was seeing a neurologist there and having ENG tests every month to monitor things. After 10 months my neurologist said she was 90% sure I had the one-off Acute form of GBS and that I would make a full recovery.

      As my left hand has is the only part of my body that is showing very slow sings of recovery, with a lot of muscle waist I decided to see a neurologist here in the UK; I saw him 3 weeks ago.

      He told me he wanted me to have a nerve conduction study and ENG test to determine which type of GBS I had as he told me there is a small chance it could be the Chronic on-going version; this shocked me as I thought if it was Chronic I would have been getting worse over the past 18 months; not improving.

      The neurologist also sent me to have a ton of blood tests to check my overall health; tested for loads of things; not sure what though.

      I got the results from all these blood tests and they were all normal.

      My question is, I have my nerve conduction study and ENG test this Saturday morning at hospital. Will this test alone determine if it is Acute GBS or the Chronic form?

      Also, will the man/woman doing the test be able to tell me there-and-then?

      Otherwise I’m playing badminton every week and going on 4 and 4 mile walks and I feel fine, I can run around and I’m generally a lot more active and fitter than I was a year ago when I was just 6 months into my recovery.

      It’s just my left hand that is very slow and the muscle waste has continued; though it might have stopped now.

      Thank you, and my heart goes out to everybody who suffers from any form of GBS. Thank you for your support and encouragement in some of my other posts.


    • Anonymous
      June 3, 2009 at 5:26 pm

      Those nerve conduction test usually will tell whether yours is Acute or Chronic. It sounds like this Neuro that read your test giving you full hope might be right if they saw the EMG readings.
      Sometimes they tell you and sometimes they don’t and say the doctor has to read the report! Just depends on who gives you the EMG/NCV.
      Most of the time your doctors will do the test themselves. Don’t know how the UK does it. Only had 1 that was an EMG Specialist and they did the report without the doctor being there. But all of mine except one had the doctor doing it~ So you might get lucky and get an answer right away.
      Hope it turns out okay! Will keep my fingers crossed! Hugs
      Linda H

    • Anonymous
      June 3, 2009 at 10:23 pm

      Hi Nigel: There are a number of differences between GBS and CIDP. GBS usually comes on suddenly while CIDP may come on more slowly; GBS heals quickly after the acute phase of a few weeks, while CIDP heals much more slowly. After GBS there should be no signs of increased nerve damage or paralysis while CIDP may worsen in a person. Spinal taps may be used to see if you have CIDP at this stage, but the nerve conduction test determines how much blockage or slowing of nerve impulses are present. If there are compared to earlier tests that might show how much worse things are. From your description I am not sure why the doctor suspects CIDP as you have made rapid recovery. But I am no doctor and I am sure others understand more of these things better than I do. I wonder if the problem in your hand isn’t a residual from GBS. Anyway as Linda says, if your doctor gives the test you should find out on the spot what the results are. I certainly hope all is well. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      June 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm

      They can tell after they completed the test what the results are. You have to ask right then or wait to see the report. Your neurologist makes the definitive diagnosis based on his clinical findings and your subjective symptoms. It would seem though that they would have to have a series of EMG / NCS to determine if you were stable, deteriorating, or improving. I also discovered that the conduct of the test is somewhat of an art and can vary from one place to another based on their procedures and the interpretation of the doctor.

      In my example, I have had three NCS / EMG that have all shown a numerical deterioration, but not enough to be statistically signifiicant.

      good luck,


    • Anonymous
      June 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm


      Do you have the Chronic form or the Acute form of GBS. When did you first get it?


    • June 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm

      sorry no info

    • Anonymous
      June 5, 2009 at 6:39 am

      I think there was a tad of axon damage in left hand/forearm; but can’t remember/be sure. I guess I’ll find out Saturday morning when I have test.

      Do Axon’s grow back or repair. I was told in Belgium by the Doctor there that they do/can.

    • Anonymous
      June 6, 2009 at 2:01 pm

      Had long EMG/Nerve study tests at hospital today.

      All when very well. Doctor who did it said he is 99% sure I had the Acute form of GBS and I’ll make a full recovery; based on what I told him and his tests. Also told me that it is very rare for people to get GBS a second time and if you do, it is not because you had it once that you are suddenly susceptible to it; it is just very bad luck.

      He said he would still like to see my original medical report from Belgium when it first happened 18 months back. Just so he can close the door on that 1% of uncertainty. But I’m happy and will have my old neurologist in Belgium fax through the details for him. He said it might even be worth doing this test again in 4 to 6 months to 100% satisfy himself.

      He was incredibly knowledgeable and has seen hundreds of GBS patients with many different forms of GBS.

      I’m very happy and uplifted/encouraged by what he told me.

      I feel that I have some sort of quality of life to look forward to now.

    • June 6, 2009 at 2:14 pm

      I have had GBS 3 times and always thought I was susceptible to getting it with stress in my life. I can’t believe I was that unlucky.

    • Anonymous
      June 6, 2009 at 2:55 pm

      Well that is wonderful News to hear and I pray your recovery starts to go faster and faster and we see you gain full strength again~ So glad the news was good and not bad! Hugs
      Linda H

    • Anonymous
      June 8, 2009 at 6:24 am

      Thank you as ever Linda.

      I’ll keep everyone posted.

      Hugs back to you.


    • June 8, 2009 at 8:58 pm

      Great news Nigel!
      Dawn Kevies mom

    • Anonymous
      June 9, 2009 at 1:19 am

      Hey Nigel! They have something out called a stress ball! It’s a small rubbery ball that you can buy at the pharmacies that they use on people that had strokes. You hold the ball and squeeze it! That might help strengthen that hand of yours and make it stronger too!
      Since we know now that you are getting better!:D 😀 I hope to see you performing your music for us one day by posting it on UTUBE! LOL! Your going to end up playing again! Determination my friend! Determination! Hugs
      Linda H